Chinese hackers reportedly stole hundreds of gigabytes of undersea warfare data from a contractor that works for the U.S. Navy’s underwater weapons R&D center.
Hackers linked to the Chinese government reportedly stole 614 gigabytes of highly sensitive data from a U.S. Navy contractor, including plans related to a supersonic anti-ship missile meant to be usable by 2020 and other details about undersea warfare.
The hundreds of gigabytes of pilfered data came from an unnamed contractor working for the Navy’s underwater weapons R&D center; this Naval Undersea Warfare Center is based in Newport, Rhode Island. According to the Washington Post, the stolen data included material related to a “project known as Sea Dragon, as well as signals and sensor data, submarine radio room information relating to cryptographic systems, and the Navy submarine development unit’s electronic warfare library.”
There was more taken, but the Post held off on reporting about it as to avoid harming national security.
The FBI and Navy are investigating the breaches, which occurred in January and February. Investigators blame the Chinese Ministry of State Security for the hacks. Although the MSS is a civilian spy agency, it is reportedly responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence, and domestic political security, and it compromises networks to glean foreign, military and commercial intelligence.
While the data stored on the contractor’s unclassified network was described as “highly sensitive” by the Post, sources added that it could be considered classified when aggregated.